US Monitors China's Role In Africa
The US is closely monitoring China's expanding role in Africa, the latest secret US diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks reveal. A cable from February quoted a senior US official in Nigeria's main city, Lagos, describing China as 'aggressive and pernicious'.
US diplomatic cables from Africa also reveal claims by oil giant Shell that it infiltrated Nigerian ministries. Wikileaks has so far released more than 1,100 of 251,000 secret US cables.
The latest documents provide a fascinating insight into Washington's rivalry with Beijing in Africa. China has massively expanded its economic ties to countries across Africa in recent years, sparking criticism from human rights groups, who accuse Beijing of helping some of Africa's worst governments stay in power.
China adopts a policy of not interfering in domestic politics, while Western countries sometimes make aid conditional on 'good governance'.
The cable, published by the Guardian newspaper, quoted Johnnie Carson, US Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, who had been meeting oil company representatives in Lagos.
He described China as 'a very aggressive and pernicious economic competitor with no morals'. 'China is not in Africa for altruistic reasons,' he says. 'China is in Africa primarily for China.'
He added: 'A secondary reason for China's presence is to secure votes in the United Nations from African countries.'